Hospital pays out and apologises after cash is stolen from grandmother’s purse

Watford General Hospital.
Watford General Hospital.

A hospital has pledged to pay back cash stolen from a grandmother while she was seriously ill in hospital.

Crooks swiped £80 from 69-year-old Anita Crawley’s purse and tried to use her debit card to withdraw cash as she lay on her sick bed in Watford Hospital.

Anita Crawley has shared her story to help prevent others from becoming victims while in hospital.

Anita Crawley has shared her story to help prevent others from becoming victims while in hospital.

At the time of the theft - in August this year - she was being treated in a private room on the A&E department

Following her discharge she made an official complaint to West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Watford site.

After months of waiting the trust has offered its ‘sincere apologises for the distressed caused’ and will be sending her a cheque for the £80.

Anita, from Adeyfield, said: “I think they have taken a long time to come to any conclusion. I’m sure I’m not the first or the last person it will happen to.

“At least in the end I feel I have been believed and it has probably given them a shake up.”

Anita hopes that by sharing her story others will not fall victim to thieves who prey on the sick.

The grandmother is facing another spell in hospital next month for knee replacement surgery. “I’m dreading it really but you just have to go with it,” she said.

A spokesman for West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Watford site, said: “As part of our continual efforts to improve the safety and security of our sites, a number of measures have been introduced in recent months within our hospitals to help reduce thefts of property from patients.

“We now have night security guards in A&E and the Acute Admissions Unit and our security protocols have been strengthened, following feedback received from the Care Quality Commission in our recent inspection. We have put up signs up in A&E and other areas within the Trust, warning patients and staff about the danger of theft of valuables. We also offer patients the opportunity to place their valuables in a safe.

“The Trust is also working with PCSOs, who are delivering a series of talks on the security of personal property to staff.